Wednesday, February 23, 2005

London - Part 1 - Getting There

With snow falling and more in the forecast it was with a certain level of doubt that I drove to the station this morning. But all my latent fears evaporated as the new Adalente train crept into the station, albeit 10 minutes late. Gone are the Thames Turbos (which were not that bad) and these new 5 car high speed trains are their replacement on the sometimes single track Cotswold Line (London Paddington to Hereford via Oxford, Worcester and Malvern). I rode in Carriage A (the front) which has audio outlets in the seats and special baby changing facilities (which I didn't need). Carriage E is the Quiet Zone with no cell phones. There's a buffet car as well. Cool! Well do I remember 15 years ago on the same line - a cold, no freezing cold, 2 car train that took forever and basically went slower the further is went from London until it seemed to be going in reverse.

The return journey was just as good, but, and this is the interesting part of the observation, both trains were FULL, standing room only between Oxford and London. If you improve the service, people actually want to use it.